10 Things To Do During Deepavali in Singapore

Published on Oct 13, 2017

Deepavali or also known as "Festival of Lights" is celebrated by Hindus to mark the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. The act of lighting an oil lamp on Deepavali is a symbol of this celebration. Living in Singapore, we are accustomed to the various celebrations by the different ethnicities, and since this sunny island is a tiny red dot, we can't help but feel a part of the festivities even if we don't celebrate it. Soak up the fun, food, and festivities with this list of things you can do to join in on the Deepavali festivities.

1. Visit friends

As with most celebrations, friends and colleagues or even neighbours will extend you an invitation to their house on Deepavali to simply celebrate joyous company over delicious goodies and scrumptious home-cooked dishes. It's a special blessing to enjoy good food with good company. It's a feeling like none other that leaves your bellies full and your heart brimming with joy. If you prefer to spend this day in the comfort of your home, why not awaken your inner domestic goddess and try whipping up a plate of biryani or murukkus. 

2. Indulge in Indian food

Instagram @aftanbansari_88

From North to South, Indian cuisine offers a variety of dishes, all of which, bursting with flavour and spices. This Deepavali, awaken your palate and try other Indian foods you have not tried before. Instead of roti paratha or thosai, order an appam instead. A traditional breakfast dish in Kerala, appam is a type of pancake made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk. It looks similar to a thosai but tastes sweeter and is best enjoyed with a splash of coconut milk and a touch of orange palm sugar. Other foods worth trying include pani puri (vegetarian street snack drenched in spicy and sweet watery sauces), palak paneer (creamed spinach), thali (sampler platter with several items), gobi manchurian (fried cauliflower), crab masala, rasmalai (curd cheese in sweetend milk) and the list goes on!

3. Visit Little India street bazaar 

After relishing the flavour dishes of the indian cusine, walk off those calories and soak up the festivities with the annual light up at Little India. Wander through the bazaar with a plethora of stalls selling exquisitely embroidered traditional clothings and glittering accessories, flavourful goodies and much more. While at the bazaar, you can beautify your hands or even your backs with intricately patterned henna tattoos. The simple designs usually start from $7 onwards.

4. Get a complimentary henna

If you are looking to skip the crowd at Little India but still want to try henna, head down to the Singapore Visitor Centre and discover the best henna artist in town. SyraSkins is currently working together with Singapore Visitor Centre for their heritage event in conjunction with Deepavali festival, sharing the Art Of Henna. The best part is you can pick up the skill or simply get your henna done, all for FREE!

Date: 6 -18 Oct

Time: 10.30am - 1.30pm

Venue: Singapore Visitor Centre, 216 Orchard Road

5. Watch a Tamil/Hindi movie

Spending the public holiday at home? Take the chance to watch a Tamil or Hindi movie and you might even end up getting hooked or singing along to one of the many songs. We recommend you start off with one of India's most successful films ever - Baahubali is a two-part epic period fantasy film depicting a battle between two step-brothers. It boasts of an interesting storyline, enthralling performances, and extraordinary visual effects.

Even if you're not too keen on Bollywood movies, consider visiting the theatre because of the blockbuster titles at the cinemas - Bladerunner, The foreigner and even Lego Ninjago for the children!

6. Popcorn movie screening

Watching movie during a public holiday more often than not seems like the go-to plan. How about this Deepavali, you add a little twist to your movie experience. Join Singapore’s first beachfront outdoor movie screening series at Palawan Green. The weekly free outdoor cinematic experience combines awesome food, music, and film for the perfect mid-week escape. Admission is FREE!

Date: 17 & 24 October 2017

Time: TBC

Venue: Palawan Green (Beach Station), Sentosa

7. Visit the salon 

Despite being a public holiday, most salons are not closed on Deepavali. Grab this free day to treat yourself to a hair makeover and make use of these promotions.

Deepavali Promotion at Du Sol

Du Sol Korean Salon

Salons are usually packed on weekends and due to work or school, you might not have the time to book an appointment with your hairstylist or try a salon that's been highly raved about. Even if you are not up for sitting at the salon for hours, you can enjoy a relaxing time with a rejuvenating scalp treatment that would take two hours at most. 

Le Petit Spa Massage

Le Petit Spa

Alternatively, you can get a 60-min massage at less than $50. Feeling lazy? Top up to get the massage therapist to give you a massage in the comfort of your own home.

8. Volunteer your time

Bring light to those who need them!

During festive occasions, it's also a good time to remember those in need and lend a helping hand to better the lives of those in our community. From providing meals for the underprivileged or simply spending time with the elderly in homes, there are so many ways you can contribute in your own way. Whether big or small, every act counts!

Not sure where to start, you can find out more about Willing Hearts. Here dishes are prepared and distributed to those who are less fortunate! 

9. Watch a musical 

Grandmother Tongue, the sold-out smash hit of the 2016 Singapore Theatre Festival, returns for a limited season! In a Singapore where dialects have been losing relevance for generations, Grandmother Tongue traces a young man’s struggle to connect with his 84-year-old Teochew-speaking grandmother. He teaches her to use a mobile phone. He helps her buy her favourite brand of soya sauce. He visits her in hospital after a fall. Along the way, he begins to understand just what it means to spend decades in linguistic and cultural exile. In ways both humorous and heartbreaking, Grandmother Tongue explores how our identities are bound up with the languages that we use and the ones that we lose.

10. Go to the zoo/bird park/river safari

Kids enter free this October so why not make a trip down to the zoo or bird park or river safari? All the more reasons to bring your kids to the zoo if they have been begging you to do so! There's so much to see and do at these attractions that you are guaranteed to have a day jam-packed with fun. Plan a kids day out with the rest of your relatives or friends with kids to make it double the fun! It's also a good opportunity to get together and have a family day out.

BONUS: Go for Mambo Night at Zouk on Eve of Deepavali

What better way to start Deepavali than dancing and singing to your favourite Bananarama tunes? 

Yep, Mambo Jambo is back this Deepavali Eve from 9pm to 4am on 17 October 2017!

More details here.

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